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and excited a mobocratic uprising against the Saints in Jackson County, Missouri.
Joseph, Sidney, and Freeman Nickerson left Kirtland, October 5, on a journey eastward and to upper Canada. They preached at several places on the way, returning to Kirtland November 4. After their return, Sidney was afflicted with sore eyes.
In a revelation given October 12, Sidney was called to be a spokesman unto Joseph:
"And it is expedient in me that you, my servant Sidney, should be a spokesman unto this people; yes, verily, I will ordain you unto this calling, even to be a spokesman unto my servant Joseph; and I will give unto him power to be mighty in testimony; and I will give unto thee power to be mighty in expounding all scriptures, that thou mayest be a spokesman unto him, and he shall be a revelator unto thee, that thou mayest know the certainty of all things pertaining to the things of my kingdom on the earth."
Joseph wrote of Sidney Rigdon, November 19, as follows:
"My heart is somewhat sorrowful, but I feel to trust in the Lord, the God of Jacob. I have learned in my travels that man is treacherous and selfish, but few excepted.
“Brother Sidney is a man whom I love, but is not capable of that pure and steadfast love for those who are his benefactors, as should possess the breast of a president of the Church of Christ. This, with some other little things, such as a selfishness and independence of mind, which, too often manifested, destroy the confidence of those who would lay down their lives for him—but, notwithstanding these things, he is a very great and good man; a man of great power of words, and can gain the friendship of his hearers very quick. He is a man whom God will uphold, if he will continue faithful to his calling. O God, grant that he may, for the Lord's sake. Amen.
“The man who willeth to do well, we should extol his virtues, and speak not of his faults behind his back. A man who wilfully turneth away from his friend without a cause is not easily forgiven. The kindness of a man should never be forgotten. That person who never forsaketh his trust, should ever have the highest place for regard in our hearts, and our love should never fail, but increase more and more, and this is my disposition and sentiment.
“And again, blessed be Brother Sidney, also, notwithstanding he shall be high and lifted up, yet he shall bow down under the yoke like unto an ass that croucheth beneath his burthen, that learneth his master's will by the stroke of the rod; thus saith the Lord; yet the Lord will have mercy on him, and he shall bring forth much fruit, even as the vine of the choice grape, when her clusters are ripe, before the time of the gleaning of the vintage; and the Lord shall make his heart merry as with sweet wine, because of him who putteth forth his hand and lifteth him up out of deep mire, and pointeth him out the way, and guideth his feet when he stumbleth, and humbleth him in his pride. Blessed are his generations; nevertheless one shall hunt after them as a man hunteth after an ass that has strayed in the wilderness, and straightway findeth him and bringeth him into the fold. Thus shall the Lord watch over his generation, that they be saved. Even so. Amen."
In accordance with a revelation given February 24, 1834, Sidney Rigdon and Lyman Wight started soon after on a mission to the country eastward, to preach and to endeavor to get some young and middle aged volunteer brethren to go to Jackson County, Missouri, and assist in the redemption of Zion.
With Joseph Smith and other elders, Sidney and Lyman attended a conference, March 17, at Avon, Livingston County, New York, with this purpose in view, and also to raise means to free the Kirtland Church from debt. Joseph, Sidney and Lyman started back for Kirtland on the 19th, arriving there on the 28th.
On the 18th of April, Joseph, Sidney, Oliver and Zebedee Coltrin left Kirtland for New Portage to hold conference. At Norton they retired to the wilderness and united in prayer for the brethren who were going to the land of Zion. They then laid hands on and blessed each other. Elders Rigdon, Cowdery and Coltrin blessed Joseph.
On the 21st, they attended an important conference when several brethren volunteered to go to Zion and others donated money "for the benefit of the scattered brethren in Zion.” On the 22nd, Joseph, Sidney, Oliver and others returned to Kirtland.
Early in May, Joseph left Kirtland for Missouri. Elder Rigdon continued to act in his presidential office at Kirtland. He was also
one of the trustees and conductors of the “Kirtland school,” wherein penmanship, arithmetic, English grammar and geography were taught during the winter.
At a meeting, March 7, 1835, Sidney was appointed to lay on hands and bestow blessings in the name of the Lord on those who had labored on the Kirtland temple, or who had "consecrated to its upbuilding.” Accordingly, many blessings were given that day and the next.
April 3 and 4, Elder Rigdon was presiding at a conference at Freedom, New York.
On the 2nd of May he attended a grand council and conference at Kirtland, and a High Council August 4.
Joseph, Sidney, Oliver, and F. G. Williams, having been appointed a committee, September 24, 1834, to arrange "the items of the doctrine of Jesus Christ, for the government of the Church," a General Assembly of the Church was held at Kirtland, August 17, to take into consideration the labors of the committee, which had resulted in the “Book of Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter-day Saints." The book was accepted by unanimous vote of the assembly. Joseph was absent in Michigan, but Oliver and Sidney were in Kirtland and acted as presidents in the assembly.
Joseph, Sidney, and Oliver left Kirtland for New Portage, September 2, to attend a conference, returning on the 8th.
Joseph, Sidney, and several others united in a prayer meeting, October 23, asking the Lord to deliver them out of their afflictions and difficulties caused by debts, to deliver Zion without the shedding of blood, to grant them long life and freedom from mobs, to preserve their posterity, to enable them and others to go to Zion (Western Missouri), and purchase inheritances there without perplexity and trouble, and finally save them in the celestial kingdom.
On November 2, Joseph, Sidney, Oliver and others, went to Willoughby to hear Senator Piexotto lecture on the theory and practice of physic. The next day Joseph assisted in organizing the “Elders' School," and dedicated it at Kirtland.
Various meetings and councils were held on different days, and visitors of more or less note were received, with many of which
events Sidney was connected. On Sunday, 8th, in the, afternoon meeting, John Smith made some remarks and a proposition concerning the case of Isaac Hill, after which "President Rigdon then arose and very abruptly militated against the sentiment of Uncle John, which had a direct tendency to destroy his influence, and bring him into disrepute in the eyes of the Church, which was not right. He also misrepresented Mr. Hill's case, and spread darkness rather than light upon the subject.
"After I returned home," writes Joseph, "I labored with Uncle John, and convinced him that he was wrong; and he made his confession to my satisfaction. I then went and labored with President Rigdon, and succeeded in convincing him also of his error, which he confessed to my satisfaction."
BY NEPHI ANDERSON.
In this my journey through infinitude
- This is my sweet, consolatory thought,
HOW WE SHALL PREACH.
BY ELDER H. W. NAISBITT.
The primary object of preaching the Gospel is not to antagonize the world, it is not to encourage bitterness, strife or division, not to create a distinctive creed or church for the purpose of human glorification: but its exponents know as Paul did that "a dispensation of the Gospel has been committed unto me, [them] and woe unto me (them) if I (they] preach not the Gospel.”
That the preaching of this Gospel may indirectly create contention is not to be considered any barrier to its presentation, or the teachings of the Savior would have likewise been annulled, for he evidently saw that one of the results of his teaching was to be "division," for "from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three, the father will be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother." Not that the Gospel is of a quarrelsome character or that this is its spirit, but the spirit of rebellion in the unregenerate soul abhors, fights against, contends with the Divine rule of order, universally almost.
The Savior who was full of light and prescience knew that he would array against himself all the sectaries of the Jewish religious life, yet ye never sought the favor nor was he afraid of the frowns of Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenees or other off-shoots or devotees of the primal body. It was his mission to promulgate the truth, "whether men would hear or whether they would forbear."
Nor is it known that the apostles ever sought to compromise on what they were assured was the truth; their call was to preach,